Last year I reviewed Nike’s Downshifter 10, and found it to be a good shoe for a great price.
The Downshifter range is for the entry-level runner, wanting to benefit from Nike’s legacy when it comes to world-class running technology. If you’re not running too many miles each week, and don’t require the latest technology to shave seconds off your PB, the Downshifter 11 could be a great starting point.
The Downshifter 11 is designed to give lightweight, comfortable flexible support to runners who are looking for some midfoot support, and an attractive shoe at an affordable price.
The popular shoe, now in its 11th version comes in a huge range of colorways and sizes to suit every runner.
Nike Downshifter 11 First Impressions
When I first tried on the Downshifter 11, the fit is quite snug for a Nike, coming in a little shorter and narrower than other Nike running shoes, so you may want to consider going half a size up, or if they’re your first pair of running shoes, at least a whole size up from your regular shoe. If the shoe feels even slightly tight on first wear, size up here.
On the foot, they feel lightweight, super flexible, and comfortable. On walking around the foam feels adequate, nothing too exciting about it depending on your expectations but all in all, a good first impression.
Compared to the Downshifter 10 I’ve recently been running in, there’s slightly more visible support around the midfoot, however, I really couldn’t feel this when trying it on.
Both versions felt exactly the same. Same cushioning, upper, fit, and shape. If you’re looking for an exact upgrade of your Downshifter 10, this is what this shoe delivers.
Aesthetically I think the shoe looks great, mimicking the design of more premium Nike ranges. The white version did pick up lots of dirt and dusk immediately, even on a dry, pavement run, so something to consider if you like your shoes to look box fresh.
Nike Downshifter 11 Sole Unit
The outsole is a decoupled pattern, copying the more premium Pegasus 38. This design gave good tread, smooth heel-to-toe transitions, and was flexible enough to remain comfortable.
After 50 miles it’s still in great condition and I’m sure has many more miles left in it, with as much spring in the foam now as when it first came out the box.
The sole unit as a whole is identical to the Downshifter 10, which for me is still performing well after a year of occasional wear so I can’t fault it. The Downshifter is not my go to shoe for long or fast runs, but is often one that packed in my case when travelling to wear in all circumstances. This will be the same story for the 11s. Great in the gym as well as for runs.
The midsole is an unbranded foam, with side cutaways to keep weight down and feels supportive enough, with cushioning throughout the length of the foot, so no issues if you favor a heel or toe strike, and also mirrors the exact pattern, structure and feel of the Downshifter 10.
The outsole rubber curves up over the toe to give good durability, protecting the softer foam underneath.
The Downshifter 11 sits in a similar price range to Nike’s Revolution model, with the main difference being in the sole unit. The Downshifter 11 gave much more cushioning on longer runs and performed better over time, and I’d recommend the Downshifter range over the Revolution to everyone.
Nike Downshifter 11 Upper Unit
New to the upper is a translucent window behind the TPU Swoosh on the lateral side, allowing you to see through the added in midfoot support. What the Downshifter 11 gains in midfoot lockdown here on a longer run, it loses in breathability. This wasn’t too noticeable on a run, but my feet did feel very hot and uncomfortable when the run was over.
The heel counter has remained firm and holds the foot in well, locking the ankle into place securely, something which I feel Nike’s generally outperform other brands in when it comes to fit.
The toe box is narrower than other Nike’s and Asics I’ve been running in recently, so may be worth considering a different model, or one size up if you’re feet are wider. Especially as I often find with Nike’s the laces come up super short, and easily come undone on a run.
There is a new lace eyelet design in this shoe which I feel improves the shoe aesthetically, and along with the reinforced stitching and support assists the midfoot lockdown. The tongue is comfortably padded and stayed in place well, on runs when the laces were tighter, and when wearing casually and a little looser.
Overall, there’s not much exciting to say about the upper, its low on features to keep costs and weight down.
Nike Downshifter 11 Conclusion
Usually, with Nike, we see a big change of design every two versions, so perhaps the 12 will be a little more interesting, but for a low-cost running shoe, designed with a big variety of runners in mind, you can’t go too wrong with this shoe.
I’d recommend the Downshifter 11 for anyone looking to run their first 5km, 10km, or even half marathon. If you’re new to training and want to use this in the gym too it’s a great shoe for that. In the next version I’d love to see a few more features on the upper to improve breathability, and perhaps some longer laces.
As editorial policy, we do not accept free samples from companies. We purchased this pair of Nike Downshifter 11 at Running Warehouse with our own money.